After what was seemingly shaping up to be a slow recruiting week, Oregon burst out of the shadows with offer extensions to linebacker Jaylon Smith(4-Star/Ft. Wayne, Il/Rivals100), quarterback Anthony Jennings (3-Star/Marietta, GA), and tight end Danny Friend (3-Star/Morris, Ill).
With a possible “pass ‘n’ catch” connection brewing, signal caller Jennings and the sure-handed Friend were ecstatic at the prospects of playing their college ball in Eugene. “(I’m) truly blessed” flashed across Jennings’ Twitter feed last Thursday afternoon with Friend echoing much of the same: “They’re one of the best programs in the country…They’re ranked No. 2 right now by the A.P., so they’re in contention for the National Championship, and that’s something everyone dreams about.” (While Smith has already named a favorite (some “tradition-based” program in south bend?), look for Oregon’s use of speed and athleticism to appeal to Jennings and Friend).
QB Anthony Jennings' (3-Star/Marietta, GA) Tweet 5/17/12
After calling his Ducks Spring Game experience “great,” defensive lineman Eddie Vanderdoes(4-Star/Placer, CA/Rivals100) has opted to take an official visit to Oregon before announcing his college decision. “Oregon has great coaches and I like coach (Jerry) Azzinaro a lot,” said Vanderdoes. “They obviously have tremendous facilities and I know I can once again compete for early playing time.” (We, the Oregon Faithful, should take heart that Vanderdoes is returning to Eugene in favor of visiting other programs. Instant involvement along the line coupled with good friend Arik Armstead’s presence in the Oregon Locker Room may provide Vanderdoes with all the incentive he needs to commit to the Ducks).
Running back Shahid Hoover (3-Star/Denver, CO) may not be the most hyped runner, but he nonetheless would like to step up communication with the Ducks. “I’d like to hear more from Oregon if possible,” said Hoover. “They sent me a little bit of mail, but I haven’t had any communication with them on the phone. I love how they run the ball and the style of offense.” (At 5’9, 185 lbs., Hoover can break initial contact and extend plays with 4.4 speed. The burly tailback will undoubtedly rise on Oregon’s recruiting board if he remains healthy during his final prep season).
Doubling as a sprinter, cornerback Brendan Langley (3-Star/Marietta, GA) is looking for a program that offers opportunities both on the track and gridiron. “I’d definitely consider Oregon…I know I would get a chance to showcase my talent,” said the 6’1, 185 lb. Langley. (While rumored to have a desire to stay close to home, expect Oregon’s prowess as a “dual-sport-friendly” institution to factor into Langley’s decision).
Wide receiver Francis Owusu’s (3-Star/Westlake, CA) brother, Chris, knows Autzen Stadium well – the turf, that is (see below at 5:26). Despite strong family ties with the “silly trees,” the younger, yet larger, Owusu (6’3, 195 lbs.) isn’t letting that facet sway him from considering the Ducks. “Oregon…(is) coming into the mix hard lately…(It’s a) big time school and I’d certainly be excited about picking up an offer,” said Owusu. (With familiarity of the west coast and the Duck’s national dominance, Owusu may be a dark horse striding on Oregon’s recruiting trail.)
Two preps with limitless versatility, Danny Mattingly (3-Star/Spokane, WA) and Charles Williams (3-Star/Hialeah, FL), are the latest athletes to garner Oregon interest. Already commanding a Ducks offer, the 6’5, 225 lb. Mattingly professes Oregon is a place “I have to see for myself.” Fellow jack-of-all trades Williams, a lanky 6’2, 180 lbs., was recently scouted personally by Defensive Coordinator Nick Aliotti and is said to have impressed the Oregon coaching staple. “Coach Aliotti says he likes his frame, athletic ability, and his length in his arms,” said Williams’ coach Mike Tunsil. “They weren’t showing (Williams) any interest before Aliotti came through but, since he saw him, they’ve become very impressed. The next day, Oregon faxed paperwork requesting his transcripts, and he’s been in constant contact with Aliotti ever since.” (Given Mattingly’s northwest roots and intention to visit Oregon in June, the Ducks seem to be a serious player for his all-around game. On the other side of the country, Aliotti’s personal evaluation may be a crucial stroke to land Oregon at the top of Williams’ program choices.)
(Mattingly Highlights Unavailable)
Quietly becoming a superpower on the diamond and poised for National Championship run, ESPN #1-Ranked Oregon Baseball (41-14, 19-8) has discovered its personality. Part of the hard-nosed, never-say-die mantra is that of bullpen pitcher David Wylie. The submarine-arm hurler intimidates opponents to no end when, in the middle of an at-bat, changes to a traditional overhand delivery from the mound. But this trickery is not his most “boisterous” effect on foes; Wylie not only totes his glove to games, but his bagpipes as well. (As a bagpipe student myself, Oregon Ducks Athletics coupled with “Warpipes” is Winning the Day, All Day, Every Day! Take a watch/listen!)
For up to the minute recruiting news, please visit our friends at DUCK TERRITORY who graciously provide FISHDUCK with in-depth analysis and player-generated material. Look for my latest recruiting update next Wednesday, WTD!!!
WE, THE GREEN AND YELLOW, WE – THE DUCK FAITHFUL!!!
Mark Flores, a Salem, OR resident, is a Firefighter/EMT who is currently attending Paramedic School. A graduate of nearby Corban University with a Bachelors Degree in English-Journalism, Flores is an Oregon Ducks football season-ticket holder (since 2010) with plans of pursuing his masters degree at the U of O. A passionate and knowledgeable Ducks fan with a heavy interest in Oregon athletics and recruiting, Flores, a former lacrosse player, brings a wealth of knowledge of Oregon teams not readily covered by the media.
Flores has over seven years of professional journalism experience, including writing for the Statesman Journal in Salem and holding the position of Sports Editor for the Hilltop News (Corban University). He brings his detailed knowledge of recruiting and athletics to the FishDuck team, and welcomes your feedback.
Author's Note: "I do not capitalize our rival, "that other school", nor any other institution outside of our beloved UNIVERSITY OF OREGON. WTD!!!"